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Transitions with Bonnie Hutchinson

Bonnie Hutchinson

Bonnie is an avid spiritual journeyer grounded in day-to-day practicalities. For more than 30 years she's helped organizations & individuals make successful transitions aligned with their mission. Archived from iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/transitions-with-bonnie-hutchinson/id1047295642. Items in this collection are restricted.

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Transitions with Bonnie Hutchinson
Dec 8, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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For most of my life, I’ve been frightened of anger. For much of my life, I didn’t recognize my own anger. This week, in part triggered by the US election, I’ve been reflecting on anger – my own and other people’s.
Transitions with Bonnie Hutchinson
Dec 8, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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For most of my life, I’ve been frightened of anger. For much of my life, I didn’t recognize my own anger. This week, in part triggered by the US election, I’ve been reflecting on anger – my own and other people’s.
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Dec 1, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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I don’t comment on politics in this newsletter, and I’m not going to start now. EXCEPT – It’s two days after the American presidential election. Yesterday, everywhere I went (in a Canadian city!) it’s all anyone was talking about. This morning my inbox was full of more commentary. Here’s some of what I’ve been thinking. I hope it’s relevant to you, and in alignment with the purpose of this newsletter.
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Nov 28, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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Six friends gathered for dinner and conversation. Our hostess had Stargazer lilies – in this fall-into-winter season. What a treat!
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Nov 17, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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So there I was, on the way to a couple of simple errands in a shopping mall in December, feeling completely neutral. I began to feel twinges of anxiety in the pit of my stomach. Instantly I thought of several things to be anxious about. (Never a shortage of those!) At the same time, none of the things I thought of seemed like what was causing the anxiety.
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Nov 11, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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The scene: a workshop with about 70 participants from four continents. The incident Part 1: One of the workshop leaders disclosed something painful that was happening in his life. He said he wanted us to be aware of the situation but he did not want to discuss it with any of us. Specifically, he asked that we not approach him with condolences, advice, our similar experiences, questions or anything else. He asked us just to take in the information. Period.
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Oct 27, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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A ton of hard data tells us that, however we might feel, in Canada, US, UK and Australia (countries where readers of this newsletter live), we have never in recorded history been safer or less vulnerable to violence or life-threatening illness. Our life expectancy is greater and risk of harm from physical danger is smaller than ever before.
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Oct 27, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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A ton of hard data tells us that, however we might feel, in Canada, US, UK and Australia (countries where readers of this newsletter live), we have never in recorded history been safer or less vulnerable to violence or life-threatening illness. Our life expectancy is greater and risk of harm from physical danger is smaller than ever before.
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Oct 20, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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When I was a child, I was told to “Count your blessings.” The advice didn’t make me happy. It was usually said when I wanted something I didn’t have. The advice and whatever blessings I noticed felt to me like the consolation prize – what I settled for instead of what I really wanted. “Count your blessings” was right up there with cod liver oil – things that are supposedly good for you that feel wretched. I have a different perspective now.
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Oct 13, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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From an early age, I have preferred the light: daytime rather than nighttime, sunny rather than cloudy, clarity rather than ambiguity.
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Sep 29, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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I’m standing at the top of a wide valley, looking across at a wall of trees. On this warm September day, I see the yellow and gold leaves emerging, and the darker green of evergreens. As I scan, I see a splash of brilliant red. Breathtaking!
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Sep 15, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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I loved watching a TEDx talk by Michelle Poler called “100 Days without Fear.” At the time, I was co-leading a series of webcasts called “Dancing with Fear,” so it was especially relevant, not just for me but for the program I was presenting. Michelle Poler began her talk by saying this was her one hundredth day of tackling one fear a day. Her one hundredth fear was giving a TEDx talk!
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Sep 8, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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In a conversation with my Sacred Circle – five friends who meet once a month for “check-in” and a spirit-enriching ceremony – we were talking about those bleak times when sadness and despair seem to overpower all our excellent self-care practices.
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Sep 1, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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Recently, I spent an entire afternoon in a Japanese garden. As soon as I stepped through the gates I could myself relaxing (and I didn’t know I wasn’t relaxed). A sense of peace descended as I walked the paths and took in the greenery, the rocks, the water, the quiet. I sat for a long time in one of the resting places, enjoyed when someone would sound the deep gong, and just took it in.
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Aug 25, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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Bonnie discusses an article in the Huffington Post that talks about the 8 benefits that meditation can give to improve our lives, as well as, how to find ways to incorporate it into our daily lives.
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Aug 17, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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On the night that my father died suddenly and unexpectedly, and we had finished with the things that needed to happen immediately and were back in my mother’s home, here is one of the things my mother said:
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Aug 11, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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My Go-To Feng Shui person is Katie Weber. I appreciated her article on ways to apply feng shui principles to ourselves as well as to our physical spaces. With Katie’s permission, I’m pleased to share her article with you. ~ Bonnie
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Aug 5, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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I once said to my mother, “It’s easy for you. You have self-discipline!” I was an adult at the time. (I would never have said anything like that to my mother when I was still living at home.) I meant it as a joke, and my mother laughed – sort of. On reflection, it wasn’t a joke. She did have self-discipline. I did not and do not...
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Jul 28, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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This quote made me laugh out loud. I’ll tell you why in a minute. “There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision, and for whom the lighting of every cigar, the drinking of every cup, the time of rising and going to bed every day, and the beginning of every bit of work, are subjects of express volitional deliberation. Full half the time of such a man goes to the deciding, or regretting, of matters which ought to be so ingrained in him as...
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Jul 21, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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I may have mentioned (once or twice or more!) my summer plans – finish a book called “No Regrets: Things I Learned at My Mother’s Knee and Other Joints” and create a new program about moving through transitions. I had delightful conversations with people who were going to participate in the summer program. I knew (mostly) what was going into the book, which is partly written. And then…
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Jul 14, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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In the early days when my parents began a weekly paper in our small town, cash flow was a constant concern. Their lifeline was a line of credit at the local branch of a national bank.
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Jul 7, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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My friend Mary Johnson of mary@bridgeworkscoaching.ca recently had the privilege of introducing Amanda Lindhout at a speaker series presentation during the Certified Professional Accountants Elevate celebrations. I was so impressed with Mary’s story of Amanda’s message that I asked Mary if I could use her story in this newsletter. I’ll let Mary take it from here…
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Jun 30, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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A few weeks ago I had about a two-week run of technical difficulties. First it was spam. Over the past year, one of my e-mail addresses has gone from getting an occasional spam message to literally hundreds every day.
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Jun 23, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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Three quick stories, and then I will make a point!
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Jun 14, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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Many cultures and spiritual traditions include some form of meditation. Go online and you’ll find thousands of sites with more information. A definition of meditation. When I say “meditate” I mean any practice that enables you to find a still and quiet place within where you feel calm and open to inner wisdom. When I say “meditative state” I mean a mental and emotional condition in which you feel calm and are open to experience inner wisdom and higher intelligence.
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Jun 9, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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Brain research adds credibility to advice that sports coaches, business mentors and manifestation gurus have been recommending for decades: to visualize or imagine a desired experience as one way to help bring that desired experience into physical reality.
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Jun 7, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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Many years ago, I was told that when the indigenous people of North America were making a decision for the tribe, they considered how their decision would affect the next seven generations.
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Jun 2, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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Last week I wrote about a sunlamp experience that started out grumpy and ended up happy. I received a delightful note from a reader. Here’s what she said:
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May 24, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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I have low expectations of large companies. In the past week, I had experiences with a telecom and an airline that made me think that, whatever these two large companies value, it’s certainly not their customers. It’s good that a few weeks ago I had a happier experience with a large national company.
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May 19, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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I’ve had a ton of “input” in the past week and a half. Here are just a few examples.
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May 17, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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At a friend’s home, I picked up a little book by Michael Mirdad called You’re Not Going Crazy, You’re Just Waking Up: The Five Stages of the Soul Transformation Process and began to flip through it. I had to stop flipping because my friend and I were having a conversation, but I didn’t want to put the book down.
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May 12, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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For any organization to thrive, teams need to work together effectively. Google has done extensive research into the skills and character traits of a “dream team.”
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May 10, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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During times of transition, I often think of the life cycle of the butterfly. A butterfly lays an egg. The egg hatches into a caterpillar. The caterpillar eats and grows bigger, then spins itself a cocoon. Sometime later, the cocoon breaks open and what emerges is a butterfly. Magical!
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May 5, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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“I stopped watching the news,” a friend said, “because it was so scary and depressing. But I want to be informed. Lately I’ve been watching documentaries. I thought they would be more objective and neutral and not upset me so much. But after a weekend of watching documentaries, learning more about how we’re running out of water, and horrible things happening all around the world, I’m left thinking the world really is a terrible place.” This friend is one of the sunniest people I...
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May 3, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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One of my favourite people recently confided in me, “I was wearing my Bat Woman underwear!” We both started to laugh. She had a difficult meeting with the most senior person in her workplace. In addition to all the other ways she prepared for the meeting, her secret weapon was Bat Woman underwear.
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Apr 28, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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Over the weekend I had the great joy of attending the musical My Fair Lady. It was presented by the Churchmice Players, an amateur theatre group in my home town of Camrose, Alberta. It was a fabulous evening on so many levels, starting with I like George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion on which the musical is based.
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Apr 26, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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So there I was, minding my own business, in a completely neutral state of mind, walking down a shopping mall to do some errands. I began to feel anxious. I noticed the knot in my stomach, a sense of uneasiness, slower shallow breathing. I could think of several things to be anxious about, but it didn’t seem like any of them were what the anxiety was about. I was puzzled. And of course, that made me more anxious.
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Apr 21, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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When I still had teenagers living at home, I used to watch the news regularly. As I watched, I would do a running rant. I’d talk back to the announcer about how useless a story was. I’d pontificate about what the government should be doing. I’d argue with people who were interviewed. I’d go on about how appalling a certain situation was.
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Apr 19, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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Whenever I think about Valentine’s Day, and expressing love, I remember an interview in which author Toni Morrison talked about how we express love to children.
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Apr 14, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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Groundhog Day was earlier this week and it reminded me of two things: a childhood reaction and a movie. I didn’t expect the places that Groundhog Day took me.
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Apr 12, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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“I’m not making this up,” my friend and colleague said. She was telling me a story about how, earlier this year, she and her team had come to the conclusion they would no longer work with a major client.
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Apr 7, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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Yesterday was Martin Luther King Day in the U.S. Though his work was in the U.S., he was a hero and role model for many of us outside of the U.S. and around the world. More than 45 years after his death and 50 years after his historic “I Have a Dream” speech, his words and writings are as relevant and inspiring today as they were when he lived.
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Apr 5, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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I’m still hearing “Happy New Year!” which always lifts my spirits. Recently I was interested to learn that illness is not the only thing that can be contagious. A study has found that that happiness can spread like a virus. Really! Friends, spouses, siblings and neighbors influence each other’s happiness when they become happy themselves – if they see each other regularly. These effects extend to three degrees of separation in social networks. In other words, if you are in contact...
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Mar 31, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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You may not remember – or even have been born then! – but 1982 was the bottom of a recession. I remember because in 1982 I was thinking of leaving my “secure” government job (which was slowly killing me) and starting a business.
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Mar 29, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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In ancient Rome, Janus was the god of beginnings and transitions. Janus was usually depicted as having two faces looking to the future and the past.
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Mar 24, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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This week’s feature is a guided meditation: “Light-hearted, light-filled.” It’s about eight and a half minutes long and I encourage you to listen. The sound is more powerful than the words. Here’s a summary.
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Mar 22, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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This morning I began my work day with tears running down my face! And that felt like a good thing. When I opened my e-mail, there was WestJet’s annual Christmas video. WestJet is an airline based in Western Canada. For the past several years, during the holiday season they have done something to celebrate the Spirit of Giving.
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Mar 17, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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It’s a busy season for lots of us. But in the midst of lots of opportunities for hustle and bustle, yesterday I made a counter-intuitive choice. Besides the usual events and busy-ness of the season, I was aware that some emotional ups and downs of the past year were lurking in the reeds, but didn’t expect that to have much impact.
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Mar 15, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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It’s American Thanksgiving this week, and I’m giving thanks for SO many things. Giving thanks is a celebration and celebration flows out of two high-vibration energies: appreciation and gratitude.
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Mar 10, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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Instead of a feature article this week, I’ve recorded a guided visualization called “Flame of Hope.” The words below are a condensed version of the guided visualization, which is 17 minutes 31 seconds long.
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Mar 8, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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I’d been experiencing, studying and learning about transitions for years when a friend sent me a diagram that made everything fall into place. The diagram looked like a figure 8 on its side – sort of like the symbol of infinity. Around the diagram were words that perfectly reflected my experience of transitions. Woo Hoo!
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Mar 3, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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One difference between “ordinary change” and “transition” is that, during transition, besides what may be changing in our outer circumstances, we are changing. After a transition, we are not the same person we were before the transition began. We know different things about ourselves than we did before, and we probably have different expectations of ourselves and others.
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Mar 1, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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A 3-minute Ted talk caught my attention. We’re used to seeing advice and research about how to be a leader. This talk was about the impact that a follower can make. A video clip showed a shirtless man who started dancing on a beach. A crowd of people were sitting on the side of a hill. Some began to watch him; most did not. As the speaker said, “At this point, he is just a lone nut.”
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Feb 25, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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So there I was, standing 918 feet above a glacial valley, with nothing but a sheet of glass between me and the valley floor, trying hard to believe my rational mind.
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Feb 23, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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I’m writing this at 9:00 a.m. on my birthday. I’ve already received birthday cards in the mail. This morning, birthday e-mails, electronic birthday cards and Facebook messages were waiting in my inbox. By 8:00 a.m., I’d received hilarious and loving text messages and a telephone “happy birthday chorus” in four-part harmony from family members. (I especially enjoy the part where they sing “Happy birthday to Mom/Bonnie/Grandma” simultaneously.)
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Feb 18, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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In Barbara Sher’s book I Could Do Anything if I Only Knew What It Was, a chapter about “Divers and Scanners” made lightbulbs go off in my mind. Some people are “Divers” – they have a dominant passion and love to learn more and more about it to deepen and sharpen their expertise. Divers might spend a lifetime in one field, becoming ever more expert in narrower areas (not just physician but surgeon; not just surgeon but heart surgeon; not just heart surgeon but aorta replacement...
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Feb 16, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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One more time, I’m hearing and seeing messages all around me about the messy middle part of transitions. Most recently, I’ve started reading Brené Brown’s new book Rising Strong. You might be familiar with Brené Brown as the researcher who gave a TED talk about how allowing ourselves to be vulnerable draws people closer to us. She followed that talk with another one about shame – a primary reason why we are reluctant to be vulnerable. She’s studied the link between vulnerability and...
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Feb 11, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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This week’s newsletter is later than usual because I’ve been away at a retreat – Soul Reunion Experience hosted by Ken Stone. It’s been a week of profound insights, profound connections and profound gratitude. The best part for me was that, even with all the transcendent experiences, I felt grounded and easy with moving back into my regular world.
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Feb 9, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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So there I was at a favourite restaurant, sitting across from a favourite person, eating my favourite meal from the menu, complaining. I noticed and was appalled. I know better. I even teach people about this. And I was doing it anyway, wasting precious time with someone I don’t get to see very often, complaining about a situation that irritated me.
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Feb 4, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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Opening night of Symphony Under the Sky in Hawrelak Park, Edmonton – my favourite music event of the year. Four nights of spectacular music, outdoors in the park. Friendly happy people, informal atmosphere. Some people are under the amphitheatre in reserve seats; an equal number are in lawn chairs or blankets on the grass.
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Feb 2, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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A few days out of the city; sitting under the trees by a little lake; picking fresh raspberries, lettuce and green beans from the garden… And then – eating the food we’d just picked… Heaven!
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Jan 28, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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Back in the late 1980s, I took part in a Tai Chi class – sort of a moving meditation practice that is well known in many parts of Asia. One of my friends who spent years in China talked about seeing hundreds of people in parks, early every morning, all doing Tai Chi in unison. It sounded immensely powerful to be in unison with others doing the same centuries-old moves.
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Jan 26, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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If you read last week’s feature article, you might recall that I had an awakening about a different way (for me at least) to look at “surrender.” Let’s just say that, until recently, phrases such as “Surrender to higher good” or “Let go of the need to control” did not resonate with me (to put it mildly). Those phrases sounded like a cover story for “I lost,” “I gave up” or “I abdicated my responsibility.”
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Jan 21, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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“We could go to see the Chihuly exhibit. You wanted to see that, right?” my friend asked a few days before I visited her in Seattle. “Sure,” I said. Pause. “What’s a Chihuly?”
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Jan 19, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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Back in the day, a popular movie called The Sting, featuring Paul Newman and Robert Redford, was about a “sting” operation in which two lower-level bad guys got revenge on a higher-level bad guy by sucking him into a cleverly disguised trap.
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Jan 14, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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In a commencement speech to Harvard graduates, the author of the Harry Potter series, J. K. Rowling said, “As you stand on the threshold of what is sometimes called ‘real life,’ I want to extol the crucial importance of imagination.”
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Jan 12, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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So why would an incredibly successful author like J. K. Rowling, British author of the Harry Potter series, choose to speak about “The Fringe Benefits of Failure” to a Harvard graduating class? When a little book called Very Good Lives by J. K. Rowling caught my eye, I was surprised to read the sub-title: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination.
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Jan 7, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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Each year in June, in my home town of Camrose, Alberta, an event called Jaywalkers Jamboree is a very big deal. A visit to my home town brought back a flood of memories from the very first Jaywalkers Jamboree in 1957. It was such a radical idea. Close off Main Street. Bring merchandise outdoors. Whaaat?
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Jan 5, 2016 Bonnie Hutchinson
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I am old enough to remember seeing Julia Child on TV. She was amazing in her day. She famously introduced French cooking to a North American audience, and hosted one of the first ever TV cooking shows. This week, I’ve been remembering two Julia Child incidents...
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Dec 30, 2015 Bonnie Hutchinson
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When I was growing up, we kids got tired of hearing our dad’s story about how, when he was about 12 or 13, he had a job to sweep dust and chaff from around the local flour mill owned by Mr. Byers.
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Dec 22, 2015 Bonnie Hutchinson
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Last week I watched an interview with Richard Branson, the man who founded a number of businesses including Virgin Airlines and many others.
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Dec 17, 2015 Bonnie Hutchinson
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I’ve been thinking about questions for a long time, but the subject of “questions” has been at the front of my mind since a thought-provoking activity one evening last week. I’ll get to that, but first a preamble.
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Dec 15, 2015 Bonnie Hutchinson
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It’s no secret that sometimes our inner beliefs and leftover emotions from previous experiences can hold us back from accomplishing what we want in our lives now. I’d like to share with you a process I recently tried to shift some of that.
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Dec 10, 2015 Bonnie Hutchinson
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I’m writing this on a gorgeous spring day. Blue sky, warm air, green trees, flowers starting to show up… makes me feel happy just to be alive.
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Dec 8, 2015 Bonnie Hutchinson
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Wow! I didn’t see it coming. Tuesday evening I was enjoying a family birthday supper and concert. When we went into the Winspear Centre, our city’s amazing concert hall, to be dazzled by possibly the greatest piano genius I’ve ever experienced, our little family group was curious about our province’s election results. The polls had not yet closed. When we came out three hours later, Alberta’s political world had turned upside down.